Ultimate Chunky Peanut Butter

ChunkyNutBotterThis is one of my go-to snacks each day. I love chunky peanut butter, but I want to get more than just peanuts into my daily diet, so I’ve been creating my own chunky nut butter. I make a large batch of this, and then I put a big dollop of it in a jelly mason jar. It is then ready for me to take (along with a spoon) for an easy snack on a busy day. You can use any variety of nuts and seeds and spices.

  • 2 cups of organic peanut butter

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Method 1:  Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the nuts and seeds are mixed.

Method 2: Place peanut butter into a large glass bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Microwave another 30 seconds and add all the remaining ingredients and stir until mixed.

Store the chunky nut butter in a air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Banana Ice Cream – 3 Ingredients

Banana Ice Cream

  • Frozen banana chunks (about 7-8 bananas)

  • 2 tablespoons liquid (water or milk)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Melted peanut butter and chocolate chips (optional)

Place the frozen bananas, liquid and vanilla in a food processor. Blend several minutes until the bananas are completely whipped and creamy. We like to serve ours in mugs with melted peanut butter drizzled over the top and a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips. This makes about 4-5 servings.

This is Joel from 4 years ago enjoying banana ice cream. It has been a long-standing “sweet” staple in our home, and it is still asked for.

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Some of our other favorite cool treats:

  1. “Slurpees”

  2. “Frostys”

  3. Mango Pineapple Smoothie

  4. Mocha Almond Smoothie

Food is Thy Medicine 

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This meal of Wild Alaskan Salmon (3 oz), sauteed mushrooms (2 cups before cooking) and broccoli (1 cup) is one I eat every Monday. Due to a certain medication that I am on to treat an on-going eye condition, I need to follow up with 5 mg of pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) 24 hours after the medicine is taken. While I do not like using medicine to treat the body, I know there comes a time when one has to use it to assist the body in healing. So rather than relying on another lab-produced pill (that was prescribed for me), I did my research and found what foods would give me the amount of B5 that I need. I chose the foods I liked from that list and adjusted the serving sizes to make sure I get what I need. In addition to the 100% of the Daily Recommended Value for B5, it also has the DRV for these vitamins:

  • More than 100% of B12

  • More than 100% of Vitamin D

  • More than 100% of Vitamin C

When you eat a diet high in plants with a small side of a nutrient-rich protein, you are building up the respiratory and nervous system, your muscles and bones, your immunity, and all other processes your body does in order to remain healthy. Go for more green and have a happy body!

 

 

 

 

Orange Vs Green

An orange has a very slight lead per gram when it comes to vitamin C versus cauliflower, BUT cauliflower wins over an orange because it also has a good deal of vitamin K and B vitamins. With that said, I have been watching my cauliflower in my garden slowly grow its big, green leaves, and finally it has a head of cauliflower peeking out. The long, dark green leaves are gorgeous, and so how could I let them go to waste? I always do a quick research before I eat anything that is atypical, and tonight my Googling confirmed my suspicions- the greens are edible! So, for dinner, I made myself sauteed cauliflower greens with fresh garlic and mushrooms in coconut oil. That dish is now completely consumed and my immune system has had a little boost!

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Candy-free Easter Egg Hunt

If you are tired of filling plastic eggs with unhealthy and costly candy and little trinkets for the annual Easter egg hunt, here is what we do:

Fill the eggs with Monopoly money and allow the kids to do the hunt. The child who ends up with the most money, wins the grand prize. That means that someone can find the most eggs but still lose, and it gives the younger ones still an opportunity to win. I like to take an ordinary egg and stuff it with a few $500s as the “golden egg”. We typically do a $10 gift card to a kid-friendly spot, and the kids aren’t overloaded on sugar or leaving little toys all over. Happy hunting and counting!

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Sugar Consumption – Be in the Know

While the American Heart Association recommends that your daily intake of sugar be no more than 10% of your total daily calories, the World Heath Organization actually has recently stated that is should be only 5% of your daily caloric intake. The chart below is a great tool to help you understand how much 10% really is. Shoot for less though (as recommended by WHO) to avoid the negative effects of sugar such as the risk of diabetes and heart disease, weight gain, premature aging, mental fogginess, the feeding of cancer cells, and even arthritis.

The average American adult is consuming over 20 teaspoons of sugar a day, and the average American child is being given an average of 19 teaspoons of sugar each day – that’s 6x what is recommended by the AHA!

Make it a point to stick with natural sugars found in fruit and vegetables and avoid or limit all the added sugars. Your body and mind will thank you for it!

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10 Servings of Veggies and Fruits for Longevity

Eat 10 portions of fruit and veg to cut risk of early death

I LOVE this new research. 10 servings of veggies and fruits a day create an amazingly healthy and disease-fighting body. From morning to night, that is what I eat. And with a condition that keeps my white blood cell count low, I should get sick often. My family often comments on the fact that mom is “never” sick. It is indeed a rare occasion that I get a virus or bug of any kind, and I have always comment back with “That’s because of all the vegetables I eat.” So start the day with veggies and end it on a sweet note with fruit!

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Tips for Improving Your Sports Performance

Today my oldest, Aleyah, placed first in her school’s 6th grade science fair with her research paper. She chose to research how an athlete should prepare and recover from exercise. I hope you find her report useful and helpful.

Improving Your Sports Performance

by Aleyah Terry

Exercise is vital and essential to health. It can also be demanding on your body, so you will need to care for your body before and after your sporting event. By feeding it nutritious and healthy food, by doing additional exercises and practices over and above your regularly scheduled practices, and having the right mindset before and after these events, you can feel and be better.

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Before your sports practice is the ideal time to fuel your body. If you have a performance, game, competition, or meet the next day, you should eat a hearty dinner. One example of such a meal is grilled chicken breast with BBQ sauce, baked potato, green beans, and organic 2% milk or water. Other combinations could include a mix of lean proteins, carbohydrates and fats from foods and drinks such as these: organic 2% milk, peanut butter, honey, lettuce, roasted chicken breast, tomatoes, mayonnaise-based salad dressing, low-fat vinaigrette dressing, carrots and salmon.

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For breakfast you can eat a bowl of cereal with organic milk, a banana, yogurt with fruit, and 100% fruit juice. For a morning snack, some suggestions are a granola bar, fruit, and water. Lunch can include a turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato, pretzels, carrot sticks, drinkable yogurt, and water. Before your event, eat 30 minutes to one hour before you start. You can eat dry cereal, grapes, cottage cheese, one or two eggs, milk, and water.

 

Drink extra water the day before, have two to three glasses before bed and one to three glasses five to ten minutes before the event. It is also important to remember to re-hydrate after the event! For most people, water is all they need to stay hydrated. However, for some people it is not enough. Sports drinks are recommended for events lasting longer than one hour to help replace electrolytes that are lost through sweating. This allows your muscles to get back the carbohydrates they need to continue working hard. Some sports drinks that are recommended by the website Best Prono-commercial-sports-drinks-300x300ducts are Reliant Recovery Water, BodyArmor SuperDrink, Zico Pure Premium Coconut Water, and Nature’s Best Isopure Zero Carb Protein Drink. Choose a sports drink wisely. They are often high in calories from added sugar and may contain high levels of sodium. Some alternatives to a sugary sports drink are coconut water, aloe water, cactus water, Himalayan salt with a bit of honey or maple syrup added to your water, and watermelon water.

If you have an early morning sporting event, have a high carbohydrate dinner and drink extra water. The morning of the event, eat about a two hundred calorie meal like yogurt and a banana and also drink more water. If you have a mid-morning event, eat a similar dinner plan as just mentioned. Have a familiar breakfast by 7am to prevent a stomach ache. If you have a mid-afternoon event eat a high carbohydrate breakfast and a light lunch, or combine them into a big brunch. Make sure to have a high carbohydrate dinner the night before, drink extra water the day before and extra on the event day too. If you have an all-day event, you will need some rest so exercise just lightly two days before the event. Rest completely the day before and eat a high carbohydrate breakfast, lunch, and dinner with extra fluids. Eat a breakfast you enjoy and is light on the day of the event, snack every one and a half to two hours, eat lunch if you can, and drink fluids before you feel thirsty.

The biggest secret to playing your best at a competitive sports event is to keep calm and composed and keep your focus on you, your job, and your play. Then be sure to warm-up before that event. If you do not do this, you are running the risk of getting injured. A bowl of fruit and water can get you refreshed before a game. A good pre-event meal contains high carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein, small amounts of fat, and plenty of fluids. “Practice” your pre-game snacks and meals. Experiment with different foods, drinks, and timing to find what works best for you.

 

After your activity there is a couple of things you can do to help improve your performance. The first is stretching. There two type of stretching: dynamic and static. Dynamic stretching is a form of stretching that utilizes movement to warm up the body before practice which helps the body recover and release lactic acid from the practice before. The next stretch is static stretching which is done when the body is at rest. This type of stretching is a form of cooling down because it elongates the muscles.  So do dynamic stretching in order to warm up the body and do static stretching after to cool down the muscles.

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Some athletes nap too long, or do not nap at all. Those things are not healthy for you. The best thing to do is to fit in a 25 minute to one hour power nap before practice. If you nap too long it will not be beneficial to you. Sleep is essential to recovery. While you sleep, human growth hormones are released, repairing your muscles and tissues. When you are sleep deprived, you do not get the recovery that occurs during sleep.

 

No athlete likes to cool down after practice because they want to get home. But cooling down is almost the most important part of practice. It releases tension and gets your blood flowing through your body again, and it is a form of active recovery. Either stretch or do a modified version of your sport. Like if you ran a mile that day, run a 200 meters to cool down.

 

Most people don’t realize that within thirty minutes of practice, you should eat something to refuel your body. The most common is a protein drink, but you can also have snacks like greek yogurt or fruit.

 

When people think of massages, they think of spas. But, there are more reasons to get a massage than that. Sports massages help relieve tension in your body and help the blood flow more easily through the muscles. You can try to get a sports massage once a month, and if you do,  you will feel the difference.

 

Ice baths are used after a long time of exercise. Not everyone loves ice baths, but they do love the benefits. These super-cold soaks help speed up recovery, alleviate muscle pain, stiffness, and soreness, and even repairs muscles. If you can, put a bucket of ice in your bathtub, run a cold bath, and lay in there for five to ten minutes. You can take a warm shower and wash up, then turn the water on cold and rinse the part or parts that are sore or you think will be sore. “The Journal of Science And Medicine in Sport” ran a test on runners to see how ice baths showed improvement. When the runners had taken ice baths between the runs, they were able to continue four minutes longer than the times they were not given cold baths, but with a longer recovery time.

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Several sports use compression clothing to lower heart rate. It is made with high quality engineered elastic compression fabric to mold around the part of the body. Foam rolling is like a sports massage, but you can do it yourself for cheaper. Rolling over knots, or tight parts, that may have grown during the sport event, can get your blood flowing back to your body. There are some exercises you can do can eliminate sore muscles. If your hip flexors are sore and you have a foam roller, sit on the roller and put one knee on the other and turn towards that leg. For your quadrilaterals, lay on the roller with your stomach laying on it and roll till your quads get massaged.

 

Overall, there are several ways you can improve your sports performance. Whether using ice baths or fueling your body, you are allowing your body to prepare and recover from your favorite sport. By doing these extra steps, you are building up muscle and bringing vital minerals and nutrients to your body. Exercise is essential to health and using these ideas can improve your athletic ability and keep your body ready and healthy for physical activity. index

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Agadoni, Laura. “Perfect Meals for the Day Before a Competitive Sport.” AZCentral. http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/perfect-meals-day-before-competitive-sport-1398.html (accessed January 19, 2017).
Boyle, Kendall. “Why Ice Baths Work for Muscle Recovery.” Lifting Revolution. August 4, 201. http://www.liftingrevolution.com/why-ice-baths-work-for-muscle-recovery/ (accessed January 19, 2017).
Competitive Edge. “Big Game Preperation.”    https://www.competitivedge.com/big-game-preparation-7-tips-staying-cool-calm-clutch (accessed December 31, 2016).
Hersch, Aaron. “How Compression Apparel Works.” Competitor.Com. February 14, 2014. http://running.competitor.com/2014/02/recovery/the-science-of-squeeze-how-compression-apparel-works_43385#0QLstPoKPaZQefRr.99 (accessed January 3, 2017).
Michelle, Nicole. “The Best Pre- and Post-Workout Foods.” Livestrong. Last modified June 29, 2015. http://www.livestrong.com/article/213669-the-best-pre-post-workout-foods/ (accessed Decmeber 31, 2016).
Shack, Torri. “What to Eat Before and After a Workout.” Youtube. March 25, 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_xSbczPAFk (accessed January 5, 2017).
Swearingen, Danelle. “Eating Before Competition.” Central Washington University.    http://www.cwu.edu/sports-nutrition/eating-competition (accessed October 30, 2016).
Watne, MS, RD, Laura. “How to Eat Before a Competition.” Children’s Hospital Colorado.   https://www.childrenscolorado.org/conditions-and-advice/new-and-featured-articles/sports-nutrition/what-to-eat-before-playing-sports/ (accessed October 30, 2016).
White, Emilie. “10 Ways to Recover After Practice.” SwimSwam. September, 2015. https://swimswam.com/10-ways-to-recover-after-practice/ (accessed January 3, 2017).
Wikihow. “How to Prepare for a Sports Game.” http://www.wikihow.com/Prepare-for-a-Sports-Game (accessed Decmeber 31, 2016).

January 4th Motivation

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Motivational Tools for a True Lifestyle Change

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With the start of the year just ahead, many are setting goals, and many of those goals are focused on better health. Here are a few excellent online resources that are geared towards helping people incorporate healthy habits into each and every day so they can transform their lifestyles from that of mediocrity to that of thriving with stronger bodies and minds!

  • Revelation Wellness is offering a 30-day online Challenge called “The Little Way” for a tax-deductible donation. With an emphasis on growing your faith, you will also be encouraged in the areas of food and fitness. These 30 days will help you establish healthy habits that will become part of your daily life.

  • Wendi Pett’s Get Visibly Fit is a 7 week program to guide you and coach you to establish healthy habits and to break free of unhealthy ones.

  • Faithful Workouts has a free 31-day Health Challenge that allows you to click on the date and then a daily verse, food advice/wisdom, and a workout video will pop up for you. 

May you find the encouragement to continue in your health journey or to start your very own journey into a healthier and stronger you!